ESPN Host Ties Low Intelligence Test Score to NFL Player Arrests

Gabe Finger, Daily Caller, July 2, 2013

On his radio show Monday morning, ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd defended the use of the Wonderlic intelligence test by the NFL, pointing out  that it is not only a predictor of on-field success, but is also a predictor for off-field behavior.

Prompted by the news that 27 NFL players have been arrested this offseason, Cowherd discussed the usefulness of the test, and railed against the mainstream media’s charges that the test is racist.

“I don’t know why the media in the last couple years, ‘Whoa!’ It’s not a race thing, it’s a maturity thing. It goes across all lines. Maturity is what I want to know at 21. ‘Do you have your act together today, because I have to pay you 21 million guaranteed,’” Cowherd said.

The Wonderlic Test is used by groups, including the military, to assess mental aptitude in a time-pressured setting. {snip}


“There have 27 NFL players arrested this offseason,” Cowherd said. “It’s a lot of players … Now there have been 655 guys, since 2000, arrested in this league … Here’s what I really noticed, out of all these arrests, this is the one thing I go back to: What positions have been arrested the most and what positions have been arrested the least? Well, arrested the most: Wide receiver, defensive back, defensive line, and linebacker. Those guys get arrested the most. Who gets arrested the least? Tight ends, offensive line and quarterbacks. Well, what do you know, the lowest Wonderlic scores get arrested the most and the highest Wonderlic scores get arrested the least. So dumb guys get arrested more often. Shocker.”

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  • Puggg

    Except it is an intelligence test and therefore we have to talk about race. From what I’ve read, the Wonderlic is basically a sped-up IQ test.

    • It a “run and shoot” IQ test. The online screen is 30 questions in 8 minutes. The real test is 50 questions in 12 minutes. No time to think or “figure”.

  • Oil Can Harry

    Most likely to be arrested: wide receivers, defensive back / line (black positions)

    Least likely: quarterbacks, offensive line, kickers (white positions)

  • CJ Haze

    Preposterous! And we all have the same abilities, strengths, talents, etc. And if someone points out that the last six 100 meter dashes in the Olympics (thanks Steve Sailer) all finalists have been of West African descent, just call them a racist.

  • jane johnson

    Whoops! Tight ends are Not supposed to be arrested for murder. Guess no one told Aaron Hernandez.

    • MawellAxel

      In prison they become wide receivers.

  • borogirl54

    What I wonder is how many of these players that get arrested were raised by single mothers and had few if any male role models in their lives? I wonder how many of them were like Adam “Pacman” Jones who basically did not want a positive male role model. I saw a story on him once where an uncle and a high school coach wanted to get involved in his life but he refused.

  • So CAL Snowman

    Peyton Manning scored a 28 on his Wonderlic test while Blaine Gabbert scored a 42 and JaMarcus Russell scored a 24. Dan Marino, Jim Kelly and Terry Bradshaw all scored 15 on their Wonderlic tests, just saying . . .

    • CJ Haze

      Tim Tebow scored a 22. Aaron Hernandez scored a 30. They both hung out together (Tebow tried to break up a barfight with Aaron).

      Maybe Tebow just wanted to hang out with Aaron because most of his relatives are named Jesus.

      • So CAL Snowman

        Aaron Hernandez scored a 17 not a 30. That fight that Tebow broke up was when they were in college together and both were underage in a bar.

        • CJ Haze

          You are correct on the Wonderlic score. I got that score from a Patriots site. 17 was also Aaron’s age at the time. I read that ESPN article.

    • Puggg

      The highest scorer among them is a St. Louisan. I just had to brag.

      Too bad he’s career backup at best.

    • West Virginia WR Tavon Austin scored a seven on the Wonderlic.

      IQ conversion equals Two times Wonderlic + 60

      Tavon Austin the 74 IQ kollege stoo-dint.

    • AllSeeingEyeSpy

      what the H, is the higher number, better, is 20 supposed to be better than 10? I happen to not know how smart these quarterback are Supposed to be?

    • MikeofAges

      I think the NFL uses the Wonderlic to help get an idea of what type of personality they are dealing with in a prospect. The NFL is a business where you have a short time to seriously get the most out of a hire. You have to know how to approach, communicate with and motivate each individual. Intellectual level has a lot to do with how you do that.

      Not sure there is a correlation between IQ-Wonderlic and success at any given position. Except QB. If you score too high, you’ll be lousy quarterback. As noted, Marino, Kelly and Bradshaw were three of the best QBs ever, and they all scored in the teens on the Wonderlic. By selective university standards, John Elway was almost a dolt (120 IQ equivalent), and he did pretty good as a QB. Alex Smith scored 40 on the Wonderlic and he has failed to star in the league as of yet. I imagine there is a mental “it” factor successful QBs need to have. But I don’t think the Wonderlic is much of a measure of it.

    • cloud_buster

      I bet people who can’t understand the difference between individual results and statistical group trends score low on the Wonderlic tests. Just saying….

  • The__Bobster

    And the surface of the sun is slightly hot.

  • The__Bobster

    A never-ending source of grievances for the left is the fact that some groups are “over-represented” in desirable occupations, institutions and income brackets, while other groups are “under-represented.”

    From all the indignation and outrage about this expressed on the left, you might think that it was impossible that different groups are simply better at different things.

    Yet runners from Kenya continue to win a disproportionate share of marathons in the United States, and children whose parents or grandparents came from India have won most of the American spelling bees in the past 15 years. And has anyone failed to notice that the leading professional basketball players have for years been black, in a country where most of the population is white?

    Most of the leading photographic lenses in the world have – for generations – been designed by people who were either Japanese or German. Most of the leading diamond-cutters in the world have been either India’s Jains or Jews from Israel or elsewhere.

  • None Ya Biz

    Read “The Bell Curve”…’ll answer every question you ever had about the behavior of blacks in America. Not only is the average IQ of black Americans about 20 points less than the average IQ of white Americans, but the stand deviation for blacks is very small, while the standard deviation for whites is very large.

    • brengunn

      How do they calculate a standard deviation?

      • en(dot)wikipedia(dot)org/wiki/Standard_deviation

        In statistics and probability theory, standard deviation (represented by the symbol sigma, σ) shows how much variation or dispersion exists from the average (mean), or expected value. A low standard deviation indicates that the data points tend to be very close to the mean; high standard deviation indicates that the data points are spread out over a large range of values. ….

        It is the main topic in College Statistics if I remember correctly.

      • None Ya Biz

        – Calculate the mean (simple average of the numbers).

        – For each number: subtract the mean. Square the result.

        – Add up all of the squared results.

        – Divide this sum by one less than the number of data points (N – 1). This gives you the sample variance.

        – Take the square root of this value to obtain the sample standard deviation

        • The standard deviation of the sample is the spread for which more than two-thirds lie within 1 SD of the mean, around 95% lie within 2 SD of the mean, and almost the entire sample lies within 3 SD of the mean. One of my prob/stat profs said that a useful rule of thumb in a pinch to find SD is (top value minus bottom value) divided by 6.

    • StDev for blacks is 12.

    • None Ya Biz

      A low standard deviation indicates a tall, narrow bell curve….which means that the vast majority of black Americans have an IQ fairly close to the average (86).

      The bell curve for whites is much shorter but very broad….which indicates a wide dispersion of IQs from the average (105).

  • The__Bobster

    Prompted by the news that 27 NFL players have been arrested this offseason, Cowherd discussed the usefulness of the test, and railed against the mainstream media’s charges that the test is racist.

    I’m betting that showing all 27 photos would be racist, too. as it would look like a casting call for a Tarzan movie.

    • Spartacus

      You know, that would be a good idea. Does anyone know the race of the 27 players that were arrested ?

      • Brian

        All Scandinavian. I guarantee it.

    • Ngati Pakeha

      Planet of the Apes? In a purely Simian supporting role of course.

  • sbuffalonative

    I am laughing out loud listening to this guy. I can just imagine the dropped jaw, bug-eyed stares that some people must have done.

    This guy does a great job of cutting through the BS objections to standardized tests and he did it in a way and in a forum that is right out of left field.

    It’s great to have your beliefs validated by people outside your field of interest.

  • JohnEngelman

    If Colin Cowherd keeps his job the restraints of political correct thought control are weakening.

    • Cowherd is the type that likes to go there but stop before he gets there. And we all know what I mean by “there,” this thread is an example.

  • I suspect the fact that the US armed forces use the same test means that the NFL will ultimately receive a free pass on its use. The same US military after all has spent the last 30 years bending over backwards to avoid making incompetent darkies feel inferior.

    • Melanie

      And now they’re bending over for the sodomites. Whoops, bad choice of verbs.

    • Does the military no longer use the ASVAB?
      Or do they use the Wonderlic also now for some other purpose?

      • Doggo

        The U.S. military still uses the ASVAB. Last I heard, Army Special Forces (Green Berets) also had to take the Wonderlic. Score too low, and you’re not Green Beret material.

  • APaige

    The lowest position for arrests is actually kickers and punters. Even more white than the others. (Note:The AFC West is the higher, but the Raiders are actually the lowest of the four teams-so he is wrong.)

  • MawellAxel

    well, let’s see, if arrests are tied to IQ then what does it mean if blacks are arrested at many the rate of whites. Specifically, blacks comprised sixty seven percent of the players when this study was done, but they comprised 89 percent of the arrests.

  • Cheri Rodriguez

    Punter? Reggie Roby, Miami Dolphins (1980s and early 1990s).

  • anarchyst

    Ahh yes, the negro felon league strikes again . . .

  • MawellAxel

    in the first video, the white guy was dealing with a drunk negro. Even so, one should not use the standard fist and hit with the knuckles. The reason is that you can damage the tendons in your fingers and then you will be disabled. In a boxing ring with gloves on this is not an issue. One wants to strike with the heel of the palm. With a closed fist punch, your fingers will absorb some of the shock, which is why you may sustain injury to your hand. The heel of your palm will transfer more force to your target. If you aim for the nose, you can actually push that back into the brain and cause death. In


    In a life or death struggle, one should not throw away any opportunities.

    Paul Vunak also has some very informative videos on self defense

  • So how low a score does one need to get before one thinks that dog fighting is acceptable?

  • Dave4088

    I expect Enrique Holder to file a federal civil rights lawsuit asserting “disparate impact” and cultural bias by the NFL’s use of the Wonderlic test.

  • Nathanwartooth

    Just use Excel to figure out the SD for you. You can also use specialized programs like SPSS to do the statistical calculations for you.

    I took two statistics classes in college. They were my favorite classes that I took.

    • I did my SPSS class on a mainframe that had no GUI and no ability to import data …. a legacy system that the college owned. Tedious is being generous the the application I used.

  • AutomaticSlim

    While I have no issue with the self defense aspect of these videos, I would strongly question why these people were dealing with blacks to begin with.

  • AutomaticSlim

    Yes, Largent, Alworth, Hutson, Maynard, Bilitnikoff (sp?), Christenson, etc.. There have been many great wide receivers but…
    Jerry Rice was the best, bar none.

    Trust me, I am not one to compliment blacks, and I am in no way a “sports nut”, especially now in my late forties.

    But Rice was the best, and Charlie Joiner (Chargers) was very good too.

  • anarchyst

    NBA=National Bantu Association 🙂

  • I think someone is way ahead of you:

    Speaking of the disparate impact of arrests and the potential Harrison Bergeron attempt to equalize them, haven’t you noticed that all these stories about gamers that run their mouths off in chatroom then tossed in the clink to rot involve white gamers? Are we to believe that no black gamers run their mouths in gaming chatrooms? It’s like I’ve told almost every racially aware or almost racially aware young white man I meet: Be purer than Caesar’s Wife and the wind driven snow combined, because The System is looking for anything to nail you over to try to even out criminal justice system race stats.

  • Mark Hillyard

    ASPCA should get involved here!

  • Mark Hillyard

    Back in 1971 I was surrounded by approx. 12 Blacks. I didn’t have the sense to run from them, when they started calling me “Hey Boy!” I stopped at the first landing of the stairwell and turned around and faced them. Perhaps they were confused by my action, I don’t know!” They did get me to give up .25 cents. I think that was more to humiliate me, they got up over “Boy!”

  • Paleoconn

    Countdown to Cowherd’s firing: 10-9-8…

    • e2657383


  • bubo

    I used to be a big football fan. But lately, the so called “dead months” are the highlight of my sporting year. The 24 Hours of LeMans, Wimbledon and the Tour de France. All free of million dollar thugs.

    • Jackryanvb

      Agree. It’s so great to break free of the Black thug NFL, NBA, “college” football & hoops world. I recommend following tennis, rugby, hockey – especially college hockey and international hockey. White boxing and MMA is also good.

  • Jackryanvb

    Being arrested is not the same as being guilty. Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith got arrested. I’ve been arrested. Randy Weaver was arrested. Most of us racially realist Whites will be persecuted or arrested in some way or another. What was it like in Bolshevik Russia? Lots of regular White people got arrested. That’s going to be life here under BRA.

  • MarcB1969

    No, it was just a coincidence that the small number of blacks at my college were on the sports teams and an extremely large percentage of the schools Asian population were dominating the engineering department at my otherwise very White school.

  • Joseph Bryant

    Let’s remember that there’s also increasing evidence that playing football causes brain trauma. If you’re intelligent to begin with this may not show up much in your behavior, but if you have an IQ of 86 getting whacked in the head repeatedly makes matters that much worse.

  • Truth_That_The_Media_Ignores

    uh, no, not SLIGHTLY

  • MikeofAges

    Not yet. He had a pretty good year. We’ll see. And he took a long time to develop too. My argument was that there was not a close connection between IQ level (as indicated by the Wonderlic) and success as a QB.

  • blight14

    The kid in the third video got in some clean licks…..dang!

  • ringmod76

    ^^ Hateful bigot blog-comment invasion.